Photography as a Career

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by scanneraddict21, Feb 26, 2007.

  1. scanneraddict21

    scanneraddict21 TPF Noob!

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    Hello everyone. I am currently in college studying a computer-related field and I enjoy photography as a hobby. I am very talented in my studies as I have used computers since I was very young but I have been really thinking about photography as more than a hobby.

    The fact is that it's hard to picture myself working a desk job. I am a person who always wants to be on the move and I want my job to provide a fulfillment that will truly make me happy. I have thought about many different routes with photography from a newspaper photojournalist to a wedding photographer. The main thing is that I want something that will be able to support my future family but will also make me happy.

    I guess I would say I am having a dilemma whether or not to continue in my current field or seriously consider my passion for photography? I am also debating whether or not I should just pursue photography as a side job. I am interested in the career opportunities available with photography and really looking for advice and/or comments.

    Thanks everyone.
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I've got a desk job and I'm working on a side career as a photographer...and who knows, if it takes off, maybe I could ditch the desk job.

    I don't know the best path to take...and I can't offer you many suggestions...but from what I've seen, it would take a lot of drive and determination to make real money with photography. There certainly are many ways to make money...but it's a competitive filed filled with many people who always seem to have more education and experience. I don't know how much money a photojournalist makes...but I'm guessing that it's typically not that much...at least until you find the right job or jobs.

    Wedding & portrait photography can be very lucrative...but business skills will be just as or more important than actual photography skills. People skills can also be more important in this filed.

    Industrial and commercial photography...I'm thinking that there is plenty of money to be made but making a lot of it means being really good or working really hard.

    Another way to go...would be to get a career that would allow you to afford photography as a hobby. Many people are perfectly happy to keep photography as a relaxing hobby or maybe a part time career. This way, you can have a regular steady job that can support you & your family. Photography is great...but would you love it as much if you had to support your family with it?
     
  3. scanneraddict21

    scanneraddict21 TPF Noob!

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    I agree with you. I do enjoy photography as a hobby and I feel a lot more comfortable just having fun with it. I think if I made it a career it wouldn't be fun anymore since I would be working hard to make a living off of it. The career I am going into has high pay opportunities so it should support my photography hobby and a future family. At least that's the plan. :)

    I think I will consider wedding photography on the side, not as a main source of income but as a way to make some extra money and have more self-worth. Looking at many of the other threads, I have already learned some of the techniques I can apply to wedding photography.
     
  4. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    I have an acquaintance who switched from hobby to career and when I asked him how it was going, his response was classic, if not original.

    He said that it was like being married to a nymphomaniac. THe first few weeks were wonderful but after that it became work like anything else.
     
  5. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Apart from the fact that I believe that what is a wonderful pasttime can soon lose its charm once it becomes hard work and your sole income relies on you getting jobs, and apart from the fact that to maintain a family through it can be really tough, I also think that once you HAVE to be creative and HAVE to produce photos "on command", and often enough following the ideas and wishes of the client, much rather than your own, you can soon enough suffer from something like "writer's block", only would it be "photographer's block". Not that I would know, but I imagine this might be the case. And if you suffer from that and STILL have to support a family ... it can become worse than difficult.
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    :lol:

    On the other hand...there are few things in life as good as loving what you do for a living. If photography is something that you truly passion it about...then consider going for it. I've heard plenty of success stories and there are certainly many people who don't tire of making their living this way.
     
  7. phil-ray

    phil-ray TPF Noob!

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    i would say get a normal job that u are training for, but keep the photography as a hobby prefecting your technique and selling what ever pictures you can when u can.or apply to any jobs that come up.

    but i agree with other peoople once it becomes a job it becomes a little less presuable.
     
  8. Majik Imaje

    Majik Imaje TPF Noob!

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    .. ... what is called the "exception" to the rule. I had no other choice...

    there was no work in Construction in Boston for electricans in the union for over 4 years. 73 - 77

    I had to support my family for years, with only the money I could generate from my hobby!

    I can tell you what I experienced, only, I loved it! I wouldn't have had it any other way. And I made the same amount of money by the years end, and that was quite a tidy sum.

    Wedding photography? DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME! it is an awful lot of work, for very little money when you compare the time spent, with other ventures, that were much more lucrative. Weddings were a pain for me.
    Nina Shimataro.. I will never forget that name or that wedding.

    Since I did all the film processing and print production I was very busy. but too many hours of work. I give them their album only to find out they are divorced in less than a months time. I never did another wedding after that one. Some people like wedding photography. That is not for me. I like to be adventerous and you can't really do that in weddings.

    color posterizaton was one thing that excited me very very much.

    20 high contrast b&w neg's & pos's to use as "stencils" to pass colored light through to create a painting of color!

    I sold a lot of those at very high prices.

    Photography is so widely diversified, in so many different areas. You can work your butt off and make a weeks pay. or doing the same thing basically you can make a weeks pay in an hour or two. It just deponds on your SKILLS.
    FIRST; you need an "eye-popping' portfolio, to bring with you everwhere you go.

    Next you need to determne what portion of this wide band of different uses and applications of this "medium" to you want to break into?

    Portrait ? Fashion, Advertising, the list is endless, and so are the differences in pay.

    TOUGH field to become succesful in to support a family and still purchase more new equipment and toyz.

    There are only two ways that I know of. Either become very very good at what you do.. or become very very lucky at what your trying to do.!

    I think I was very very lucky to have met the right people at the right time, in all of my adventures with photography.

    I am different.. I do things different, I think different, and act differrent than most people, I have a "plan" and I use "prayer" to get what I want!


    I guess it is all ?? "luck" ? believe what you want..

    GO FOR IT.. you said the right words.. "it is your passion"! well it was mine for many decades! I succeeded .. ... so can YOU!

    How bad do you want it ? I would do anything to escape going to that noisy, dirty, construction job! & I looked for every opportunity to skip work and go out and make money the fun way!

    just look.. in the paper to see what you can find..!

    http://majikimaje.com/read3.JPG


    one method that used to bring in big bucks. is to go visit studios that do year books and pics for the schools, they often use "stringers" to go to all the different schools and the pay was fantastic!
     
  9. w.pasman

    w.pasman TPF Noob!

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    Take a job in something in which you are just good but don't especially care about (I mean: you should like the job but you just *have to* do it well)
    and keep your hobby your hobby
     
  10. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think ther are alot of perople right now who are making TONS of money shooting weddings right now that would beg to differ with you. One thing about weddings is people are always going to get married and one of the last things to go form the wedding buget is going to be photography. There will always be work for wedding photographers and personally I enjoy shooting them very much alot of other people do as well so why try and discourage someone from shooting them.
     
  11. Majik Imaje

    Majik Imaje TPF Noob!

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    .. the person that said.. "just keep your hobby your hobby and get a different job"

    First of all.. Weddings are not for everyone.. sure they are fun and all of that. but THEY ARE a lot of work.. DEMANDING WORK,

    and that much time put into another areas, I always made more $ avoiding weddings. Maybe I didn't charge enough, although my prices were quite high.

    but telling a person don't make your hobby into your job.?? well I can't go along with that OPINION.

    REMEMBER: nothing is set in stone so to speak.. we are all offering our OPINIONS.

    and opinions differ from individual to individual!

    We offer hope, inspiration, advice, and our experiences and we all HAVE DIFFERENT EXPERIENCES in this field. Even though.. we all do the exact same thing.. -=click=-
     
  12. DeepSpring

    DeepSpring TPF Noob!

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    I'm only in highschool now but the paths I'm trying to take are definately what most people would say not too.

    If I don't end up being a rockstar....... right exactly. So my real goal is a Director of Photography for feature films. My thoughts are just practice practice practice and learn learn learn as much as I can about the field so I am the best there is. Then I need some luck and hopefully it works out. If not my back up plan is something to do with photography or digial imaging.

    I might sound naive seeing this as I am only 17, but I think if there is something you really want and love, you should go for it. I can't imagine anything better than waking up into the morning and walking into a sound stage at Universal or where ever.
     

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